**For Immediate Release**
Teri Mora Translates Vision into Action
-released by OPSU Campus Communications 08-19-05
by Laura Dahl
Oklahoma Panhandle State University aspires to reflect
the population demographic of its service area. With Hispanic
enrollment at 54% in Guymon Public Schools last year, OPSU
is committed to achieving this goal. Few objectives are
realized without specific action, and Teri Mora of Guymon
was recently hired as Director of Hispanic Student Services.
A highly successful public school
teacher, Mora possesses a number of awards including
the Oklahoma Governor’s
Arts Award in 2003 for implementing a folkloric ballet
dance group in Guymon Public Schools. In 2002, she received
the Oklahoma Multicultural Teacher of the Year award, and
she continues to serve on the Governor’s Advisory
Council for Latin American and Hispanic Affairs.
When asked about those honors, she
modestly said, “I
work with kids, and I happen to be good at it. I wouldn’t
have any of it without the kids.” But the truth is
that Teri Mora gives 100% of herself in everything she
does, including teaching her students respect, pride in
their heritage, and the value of an education.
She will continue that dedication in higher education.
She plans to increase Hispanic enrollment in order for
OPSU to become an Hispanic-serving institution. She will
also visit area Oklahoma public schools to help students
enroll in the Oklahoma Higher Learning Access Program (OHLAP).
Funded by the state, OHLAP offers eligible students financial
help with their college tuition. The prospective college
students must take certain high school courses, maintain
good grades, and model leadership. The program emphasizes
that all Oklahoma public school students can attend college,
even those from families who might not otherwise be able
to afford it.
Teri also plans to implement a number of cultural activities.
Kicking things off, OPSU will celebrate national Hispanic
Heritage Month from September 15-October 15. Events in
the planning stage include Salsa night, which will include
dancing and games plus salsa and chips. She also hopes
to host a traditional Hispanic musical event, perhaps with
the newly formed OPSU mariachi band. Other plans include
folkloric dancing and an evening centered around traditional
Latin American and Mexican food.
Mora said, “I see endless possibilities
at OPSU. I had a vivid mental picture of the OPSU mariachi
band leading the Aggie football team onto the field at
Carl Wooten Stadium, and that clinched it for me. I want
to serve where the vision is, and OPSU has that vision.”
OPSU President Dave Bryant said, “We pride ourselves
on putting students first. Students respond to Teri’s
friendliness, positive attitude and energy, and we are
fortunate to have her leading OPSU’s effort to serve
all Hispanic students in the area.”